Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

May 1992


The Tennessee State Board of Education was moving to establish school-based decision making, with little or no apparent attention to what may be needed by educators. This study has been conceived based on the lack of an advertised plan of skill instruction, the lack of a supplied knowledge base from which educators can pull resources, and the lack of an obvious high level of understanding on the part of educators in general. A developmental inquiry and a survey were conducted to determine what principals and supervisors know about school-based decision making and what will be needed to increase the chances for a successful implementation. Descriptive and inferential statistics and a review of the research were used to answer five research questions that directed the study. Statistical analyses revealed the following: (1) Almost one-fourth of the administrators think they are currently implementing formal school-based decision making. (2) Those administrators reporting experience with school-based decision making tend to have more positive and closely aligned opinions to the literature than those reporting no experience. (3) While there was little reported difference in the survey results among the four sample groups, elementary principals were slightly more concerned about implementing the process. Principals and supervisors' ideas and perceptions of what school-based decision making is and how it should work were helpful in planning a model for implementation. The goal was to provide information to administrators concerning school-based decision making in a way that will strengthen and foster school programming and improve the quality of education for all students. Seven phases were projected to effect a successful transition from current practice to where school-based decision making becomes the rule rather than an exception in Tennessee schools: initial decision phase, preliminary plans, staff development, implementation, monitoring, adjusting, and evaluation.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted